CHINA TOPIX

Updated 9:12 AM EST, Tue, Jan 05, 2021

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China Football: China Everbright boss denies Liverpool takeover; Reds open to 'strategic partnership' with Chinese conglomerate

China Everbright CEO Chen Shuang

(Photo : Getty Images) China Everbright CEO Chen Shuang had recently denied rumors that the Chinese financial services firm was trying to buy English Premier League club Liverpool.

China Everbright CEO Chen Shuang had recently denied rumors that the Chinese financial services firm was trying to buy Liverpool FC amidst speculations that the English Premier League team was open to selling small shares of the club to interested parties.

In a press conference held on Wednesday, Shuang told reporters that he was unaware about the rumored deal if it exists at all.

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"I really don't know where the media sources come from," said Chen, via ESPN. "I called everyone who might be involved and found no one was aware of this deal."

Rumors have swirled late last month that China Everbright approached the Fenway Sports Group, Liverpool FC's American owners, for a potential buyout. The rumors even said that FSG employed the services of investment bank Allen & Co to act as a mediator that will facilitate the deal.

Meanwhile, Reds chairman Tom Werner had insisted that FSG is not planning to let go of its majority stake in the club, but that they "open to the idea of selling a small share" to investors.

"We've said it before and I'd like to say it again: this club is not for sale," Werner asserted. "At the same time we've been clear that we actively pursue commercial opportunities which in turn helps us invest in the squad and win football matches."

Werner then proceeded to say that the said "commercial opportunities" are limited to "small investment stake in the club" and will only be approved "under the right conditions and absolutely with the right partner".

"But only in the framework of doing what would be in the club's long-term best interests. I want to reiterate that the club is not for sale," the chairman added.

Meanwhile, the Daily Express supported the reports about Chen's denial, saying that the chief executive had "called several executives at different units of Everbright that might be involved in outbound mergers and acquisitions and found no one was working on any such deal".

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